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01 September 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
Submarine internet cables in African have been shown to reduce the level of unemployment in Africa.
A recent report by National Bureau of Economic Research
(NBER), the arrival of high speed subsea internet cables has
provided new jobs for the continent and is directly addressing
much of the societal inequality as a result.
The report examines three data-sets covering 12 countries
show large positive effects on employment rates, with little
job displacement across space and states: "that greater and
cheaper access to information and communication due to
availability of fast Internet increases employment rates in
Africa, and that in at least some countries, this happens in
part due to the technology’s impact on firm entry,
productivity, and exports".
Data also indicated that exports, online communication with
clients, and on-the-job training increased among firms in
Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania, once
they had access to fast Internet.
Ethiopia in particular has experienced an ongoing increase
in skilled jobs and incomes, as well as productivity and jobs
in the manufacturing industry, as a direct result of access to
the fast internet.
The submarine cables arrived in Africa in the early
2000’s backed by a group of private European
investors, and is connected to Africa’s
terrestrial networks at various landing point across the
The Kenyan subsea cable which went live six years ago has
resulted in a surge of start-ups, appearing all over the
country. As well as, the arrival of international players
Google, IBM, and Intel to the capital Nairobi, rising the
countries technology exports from $16 million to $360 million
over the last six years alone.
Bandwidth prices have also fallen, supply chain coordination
has been simplified and wholesale, retail, agribusiness, &
manufacturing have all benefitted from the advantages of the